My mom's quitter story: How Ziba Farzaneh used a layoff to build her dream life
Ep. 143
| with
Ziba Farzaneh

Follow Along:

    This week’s episode is truly one of my favorites. I never thought I would say this but my mom, Ziba Farzaneh is on the show. She has a pretty amazing quitter story that I want to share with you all.
    My mother was an accountant for a number of years. She served as VP of finance of a hundred million dollar company and grew in the role for 19 years. After being blindsided by a layoff she decided to go into entrepreneurship with my sister. Together they have a school for severely autistic children, and they recently opened up a ranch that does animal therapy for the children. Her story is one of courage, resilience, and hard work.


Show Transcript
You know, I thought that life is just get up, go to work, come back. I didn't know that hey, you can have fun middle of the day. You can go to Fashion Island, have a lunch at middle of the day and have coffee time with your friend. Everything was so new to me.

Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.

Hello, my friends. Welcome back to another episode. I am so excited you are here. This episode is a very special one for me because I have my mom on the podcast. I never thought I would say that actually. My mom, Ziba Farzaneh is on it and it came about in a random way. I honestly never even thought about it, even though, as you will hear, she has a pretty great quitter story, but I was mentioning the school that my mom and my sister run together. They have a school for severely autistic children, and they recently opened up a ranch that does like animal therapy for the children. And I was posting to my Instagram stories, photos of my children while they were at the school with my parents. And I kind of quickly went through my mom's story and everybody on Instagram lost their minds. I got so many DMs. Everybody wanted to hear her story. And I thought, yeah, why not? Because it is not only a great quitter story, it really played such a pivotal role in my quitting journey as well. Just her shift in perspective and the support that I got when I decided to quit. As we will talk about in depth, my mother was an accountant for a number of years, and she grew with a company into their role of VP of finance of a hundred million dollar company. She had like 12 or 13 staff members. She had been with that company for 19 years and had been in corporate America for 27 years when she was very blindsidedly laid off. And we'll talk all about kind of the lack of security that is in corporate America and what she did when she found herself unemployed at the age of almost 60 and how she decided to go into entrepreneurship with my sister, how they decided to start schools for severely autistic children when neither one of them had experience in that particular field and how amazing it has all turned out. So I will start rambling. So you guys can hear from my mama, Ziba Farzaneh. Hi Mom, welcome to the podcast.

Hi Goli, thank you for having me. I never thought that I did interview with my daughter.

I know I actually never thought it either. And I'm so excited for this and for the people that don't follow me on Instagram, I don't know how I like forgot that my mom has actually a pretty amazing quitter story. And I was just saying it on my Insta stories and people loved it. I've never had so many requests for somebody to be on my podcast. And then when I told them I was interviewing you, I got all of these responses of like I can't wait to listen. So this is very anticipated, Ziba,

It's really interesting to me that people are interested in my story.

It's a really cool story. So let's get into it because there's so much to talk about like immigration and all of the stuff that immigrants go through and the, you know, more specific immigration stories of Iranians and what was happening in Iran at the time. But just as a backdrop, you and dad studied in America in the late seventies. And you started started your studies here and then you went back to Iran and then you came back to the States in 86, 1986. You did have a degree though. So what was your degree in?

Uh, in accounting.

When you were in Iran or before you came in 86, had you ever worked outside of the home?

Just for three months. That was it. Before I came to US.

You were mostly a stay at home mom.


And then when you came to the US, how old were you?

I was 32 years old.

So you're 32 and then you come here and you now have to kind of start working because you guys needed the income. And what did you start doing?

Well we came here in 1986 with your dad and two kids. And, um, after a couple of months that we decided that we going to stay in US and I started looking for a job. And those days we had to find jobs on newspapers. So I would get the newspaper and look at the accounting portion and see what they have to offer and mind you that I was in US for two and a half years, and then back to Iran for eight years. So I wasn't um very, I mean, uh confident on my language, but I still went and start looking for job. I went through a few interviews that uh my friend from Alaska was here, Debbie. And she says, wow you have guts that you're going for interview? I said well I have to do it. You know, so anyway, but I find the job through a friend to a small company, as a receptionist, as a receptionist. And I have to say that I offer them that I will work free in order to get, you know, into corporate America. And they offer me, you know, a salary as a receptionist, which you can imagine how difficult it was to answering the phone and you know, trying to figure out who is who. But anyway, I got it, but after six months they let go of an accountant and the owner knew that I have a degree in accounting and asked me to take over the books. And I, and I didn't say no. I said okay. And I took over the book. I honestly didn't know, I mean, what am I supposed to do? We did have few accountant friends that had been in US and working so every day I was calling them and asking what is this? What should I do with this and that and but it got to the point that every Sunday I had so much anxiety that I'm going to work tomorrow. But one thing I never forget that in February, I found out that we had to send 1099 out, which I didn't know what 1099 is at that time. You know, I figure it out with the friends and help and, you know, research and we didn't have Google that time. You know,

I was gonna say, your friends are like the original Google. Go what do I do here?

Yeah, exactly. I did that for six months but then there was a lot of mistreatment and I didn't like it. And, uh, sometimes they would hold our payroll or I felt that the owner thought that he can do whatever he wants, you know, as far as paying payroll or overtime. And I just couldn't take it. It was, uh, too much. Finally I decided to quit, even though, you know, it, wasn't easy to find another job and mind you, at that time, we was just applying for a green card. So I didn't have my green card. So I quit my job because even at that time that I was desperate for money, uh, we just rent a new apartments because we used to live with your uncle and we just start moving out. It was the most desperate time in my whole life I have to say, but I said, you know what? It's not worth it. I'm not gonna let them to take advantage of me and treat me like you know, unprofessional. And I quit.

That's incredible. That takes a lot of courage.

Honestly, when I think it now, I said oh my God. I mean, even at that time that I was 33 years old, I have two kids. And, uh, your dad was working as well but I'm saying we just signed up for new lease to get our new apartment, but I rather go and work at whatever.

I love that. I'm just going to stop you for one second because that's something we about a lot on this podcast. And I really want people to understand that they have agency. They always, in this country, maybe not in other countries as much, but in this country you have a choice. And a lot of times when we lie to ourselves and think that we don't have a choice or we think like I'm stuck. And obviously for me, knowing your situation, I think when you say we lived with our uncle, when we moved here, we lived in graduate housing, like an 800 square foot apartment with two families of four. So eight people in a two bedroom apartment for like two years. And you're saying like you guys had just gotten enough money to rent an apartment and you are here without family, without really any support, without money. And there still is a choice. That's a very difficult choice to make but it's, there always is that choice. And I think it just serves us to know that. Now you can make the choice to stay and say like I have two kids, I don't speak the language that well, my resume isn't stacked with a lot of experience. I'm going to tough it out. That's great. That's still a choice. Or it's like hey, I'd rather work at McDonald's and not deal with somebody treating me like this and so I'm going to make that choice. So that's very impressive and also good to know.

No and the owner and his assistant, they try to, you know, talk to me and change my mind and I said, you know what? I made my decision and I'm not going to change it no matter what, I cannot work here anymore. And I quit. I came home and I told your dad I quit my job. And he said okay. Uh and I said now I have to look for another job. And then I went through temp agency and I find my second job. A few months, I find my second job in one uh flooring company uh in accounting department. And to mind you, at that time, this job was offering $300 more a month. That was very impressive for me that way. See? So uh I started as a clerk and uh it was one of my favorite jobs during the 27 years that I worked in accounting. And I learned everything in that company because I was a type of person would go to the controller and assistant, if you guys need help, just let me know, I'll do it. Or if someone was absent I would go and take care of, you know, that desk to the point that unfortunately after two and a half years, that uh company had to file bankruptcy due to recession we had back in 88-89, and I was the only one left with the controller until we locked the door. So, yeah, so I lost that job. And then I was, um, unemployed for a couple of months and, you know, making my resume, and look going to interviews and I would go interview everywhere. And in few months I find another job in very small company as a bookkeeper. So funny, I was doing A through Z and, uh, for the accounting and that company got a little bit bigger. And then I start hiring staff and hire the great relationship, the owner of the company, as far as professional and all that. But then after two and a half years, that company got sold and moved to Texas.

Wait, I want to talk about that for a second, because if we're going to get to the last company that you ever worked out, which you worked out for 19 years, but this is just another really great point to talk about because people love to think that there's so much stability in having a job or working in corporate America. And that's such an illusion. And just looking at, you know, in the seven years that you were working and the three jobs that you were in, it's like one was a terrible boss that was taking advantage of you not paying, one went bankrupt, and one sold and then you got lost your job, right? And so it's like all of these things happen, you know, and a million other reasons people get laid off. And I'm not saying that like you know, entrepreneurship isn't risky. I just think that people have put this thing like thinking there's so much stability. And we'll talk about even in this last one, like that there really is just never that security. And so it's good to know that and like stop lying to yourself about that.

Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, that's for sure there is no guarantee that you would have your job tomorrow. At the beginning of my career, so first six, seven years, except the first one after a year, I decided to quit. But honestly the other two, I thought that oh, I'm going to be here forever. No, that's not the way it works here. One gets bankrupt, it gets sold. Then I, again, I became unemployed and I was looking for jobs, interviewing. And I found the last company that I was with. And I got interviewed in 1994. I was hired as a controller because that company was moving the corporate office from Northern California to Southern California. And it was a international transportation company. And I was hired in 1994 as a controller. So I started with two stamps. One accounts payable and on one receivable. And the company was, at that time, yearly sale was 20,000 a month in revenue. Then I start working and we start getting bigger and bigger and I keep hiring. And after 10 years they brought another CEO that uh at that time he took our company, I mean, to another level, revenue went up 200 million a year.


And I grow with the company. So by the time I was let go, I had 12 or 13 staff in my department and I became a VP of finance for the company. And uh it was a very, very challenging job, very stressful. You know, I work every day. I never took vacation and I was there for 19 years.

Can you describe a little bit your relationship, so it was a family-owned business and the owner, when you say they brought in another CEO, he was still, you know, obviously very much in the picture, but what was your relationship like with the family, with the owner and his wife?

The owner of the company, I mean, he, his kids were working at the company and the owner, honestly, the company was his baby. I mean, he was so workaholic and he's 85 years old and still working. I was extremely close to him. And then I become extremely close to his family to the point that your sister was tutoring his youngest son in high school. And they, we were invited to the family parties and they came to your show, and every time you get to my plays at high school, they used to come. And I was the finance person for the company. And I honestly was a personal finance advisor to the owner because he would come and tell me all about his debt. And I would say, you know, you need to do this. You need to cut here because I had his credit card, I knew all his expenses. And I would tell him that, you know what, your wife is spending too much money. You need to cut it here, cut it there. And he would come to my office every single day in the morning and sit in my office for half an hour or so and went about his family. And he was a proud father for his big family. Honestly, he used to help a lot of people, but I was extremely close. And trustee, you know, I was a signer on the checks. I dealt with a lot of money. I mean, big money. And our relationship was unreal, that how much trust and how much respect, both ways we had, he had a lot of respect for me and I had a lot of respect for him and his family. And overall, my position in the company was so content. And since I grow with the company, whomever, because we had stations all over United State and some agency overseas and believe it or not, even if someone had operational question, they would come to me. And it's so funny that one of our top sales person in Bay area, he said Ziba, what do you drink that you so content at all the time? And I said water.

I mean, I really want to touch on the fact that like there was such a personal and respectful, but like mutually kind of reciprocal relationship in the sense that our family is like went to each other's family gatherings. And the reason I say all of this, and I think it's really important to know, like when you were saying how much he relied on you and trusted you and how much you trusted him and how deeply involved you were in kind of all aspects of the company, not to mention the entire finance department. I say all this, because like it's even more shocking sort of what happened, but because I think so many people who have such less kind of grounding in their companies or safety, right? Like I think you would have probably thought that your job is always safe with that company. As long as the company is there.

Oh yeah. And because my job was so stressful and I was so hooked to my job that as, you know, a few times, your dad wanted to surprise me for our anniversary or my birthday. And then he would hear the story at work, what I have to do. And he would say Ziba, I just wanted to let you know that next week I have booked such a hotel and I want to surprise you. And I would say you know you can't do that to me. I would, my job, I can not be surprised. I can't go. So you have to cancel it. And poor guy would cancel it.

My poor father.

Honestly, because he was in finances. You know, when you are handling the finance for a $100 million company, you just cannot take off and beside if I would take a vacation, the owner, I would have email every single day. Ziba, what is this? What is that? What can I do? And I wouldn't honestly enjoy it.

But that's another thing like this is corporate America, right? Is that like you give 19 years of your life and like in a stressful, highly demanding job, you have no flexibility. You're constantly on-call. You're doing all this. And you're like really like so many people, I feel like give so much of their lives to be a part of something. And so what happened though in 2013?

Well, honestly, as you said, I thought that I'm going to be there for rest of my life because I'm in there for 19 years and this company cannot move anything unless they discuss it with me or we have a meeting and make a decision this and that. And 2012 or so we had some system problem. And I was addressing that to a CEO and uh all the partners and all that. And then uh uh we had some forensic accountant to come and check everything to make sure that it's not a human errors, you know, make sure that I'm not doing it wrong or. So he came and I was very friendly with him. I showed him everything and I worked with him and there were times that he didn't know. And I had to explain to him and all that. So when he was there after a while, I was getting not a good feeling. And I went, I talked to owner and I said, you know, I just wanna make sure and clear his position and my position. And he said oh, he has nothing to do with you. You know that you are VP of finance. And I said well in that case, I need a raise. And I got a big raise on February of 2013 and he accepted it. And then we had a CPA that she used to come once a month to do a bank reconciliation. And then she start working with him. And for last two months at my job, I was not myself because I felt something, but I couldn't put my hand on it. And I was not as happy as I was before, but every time I talked to the owner and he said no, everything is fine. They are just working to, you know, come up with some reports. You haven't done anything wrong. Uh, I mean, they prove that it's a system problem, this and that. And then on um May of 2013, I was in my office. At 4:15, I got a call from the owner of the company that Ziba, can I see you in the conference room? And I said sure, we always have meetings in conference room. So I went and the VP of operation and HR was there too, which he started at the same time that I did. So we were coworkers for 19 years and I was really close to him as well. You know? So the owners are saying that we are making a lot of changes to the company and we're doing that. And uh Ziba, I'm gonna let you go. I said what? He said yes, uh there's some uh changes and I'm gonna let you go. And I said may I ask based on what you're letting me go? He said well uh they're saying that accounts receivable is not balancing that. I said after 20 years that I have passed every audit in this company, with over 10 banks, with CPA, IRS and now you're telling me that my account is not balancing. I have nothing to say. And he said well uh for your future jobs, I would recommend you to resign because tomorrow I have to let the company know that you're gone. I said I will not resign. You can go ahead and say whatever you like to your company but let them know that you let me go. I have nothing to say. And that was it.

Do you know why they, I mean I mean, when he says something like that that you know is not the real reason.

Well now that I'm hearing, because I I hired a lot of people in that company and two of my uh friends I hired and are still working, which one of them was his assistant. And she had told me few times that he is regretting and he has told her that I was brainwashed by others, sooner that I was talking. And worst thing that I have done in my life to let Ziba go. But I said you know what? I have to say send a thank you card to him. Even though I was devastated because when he told me that they, and as you know, your dad was working part-time on real estate. So I was main breadwinner. Yes. And I was making six figures, you know? And um so this happened at 4:30 and I was ushered out.

That's crazy.

Cause yeah, which was so insulting to me. So when I was ushered out, I came home and your sister and her daughter was at, and she said Mom, you came home early. Because usually I get home at 6, 6:30 or so I say I came to see you guys, but on the way I was uh back, I was driving up, obviously I was devastating. I was insulted. I was sad. But then I swear to God that time, as you know, I have a very strong faith, always in my life. And I said well, think this way, what if you were coming from a doctor and he would say you have a cancer and you have six more months to live, compare this to that.

That’s so amazing to be able to reframe it right then. Cause I mean, it's you're allowed to feel devastated. Right? You're allowed to feel disappointed.

Yeah, at that time I was so sad and insult, I could not believe what happened because of the relationship that I had, because of the position that I had. I never ever in my life would occur to me that someday the owner of that company is going to let you go. So that's how I calm myself down before I get home. And I used, I had just 10 minutes, right?


And I got home and your sisters and Mom you're home early. And I said yeah. And after she left, I told your dad that I lost my job and thank God, you know, how calm your dad is. He said okay, what happened? And he said okay, that's fine. So we were just shocked. Then family and relatives start finding out and they come to talk to me and say what, because everybody was shocked, but everybody knew my position in that company.

And so what did you think though? Like what, at the time you're 59 now you've been there for 19 years. Like obviously you have the experience but I know that whether it's, obviously it's not legal to discriminate against people with age, but it happens. I mean, at the end of the day, when you're up for a job and there's people that are half your age, a lot of times those get considered even if it's unconsciously uh by employers. So I mean, what were you thinking? Were you thinking I have to get another job or…

No. I mean, I remember, I think it was the same night that your cousin came to see me and she said so what is your plan? And that time I said I don't know what I'm going to do but what I know I'm not going to work for anyone anymore. I did for 27 years, I paid my duty and I learned my lesson now at the age of 59 and a half. And I am not going to work for anyone.

But how did you know that you could figure out, you know, like I think a lot of people might think that, but then also have the fear of well, I've never worked for myself. I've never run a business. Like that's also risky. So, you know, it's safer to just use my experience and get another job.

Well, in a way, at that company for couple of years, except the operational, which was transportation. I ran that company. As far as HR, accounting, hiring people, letting go people, negotiating with banks, negotiating with CPAs, negotiating with IRS. So I had all that. But you know, if you go back, on back in 86, I didn't have any experience in the United States, anywhere because I didn't work in Iran. I had a degree in accounting but even first year of my job, when I felt that I'm being taken advantage of, I stopped it. And I said I rather to go work at McDonald's than working in the company. Uh you know, so somehow that's in me and I am a very persistent person. I mean, we never talk about coming to US, going to college and then having revolution back home.

Um I was junior in college in computer science and I dropped my courses to go back with my husband, which he's already got his master and he's free, but because I have a 10 months old daughter so I went back to Iran and it took me 10 years to get my bachelor because after I got into university in Iran, then for three years because of revolution, they closed all the universities. So I personally think life is not just you come here and you have everything nice and smooth and. You have to work hard. And then you have to believe on yourself that, you know, I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna make this happen. This is my life. This is my kids. This is my husband. And I have a responsibility and I want to enjoy my kids and all that. And you just go for it and make it happen.

But how did you know what you wanted to do? I mean like okay, let's say you decide you want to work for yourself.

1996, even though I was working full time, I went to H&R Block and I got my tax preparation certificate. And for seven years I worked an H&R Block as a second job. After my daily exhausting, I would drive half an hour to go to H&R Block and work from 6:00PM to 9:30 and towards to April, I would work Saturdays as well. And I wasn't making that much money compared to what I was making, but I wanted to have this ability, skill that someday, if I want to quit, or if I lose my job, you know, I do a seasonal tax preparation. That was my goal. And then while I was at that company, I become a Notary Public because company needed. And I said okay, I'll go and get the license. And I became notary public. And I had that. And when I lost my job on 2013, I did Notary for a couple of months, meanwhile, I was thinking that do I want to go back to finance? Do I want to, you know, do as a consultant? Yes and no but I wasn't sure that I want to go back there again and work with numbers. Even though I love numbers. I still didn't know. But since your sister was in preschool industry for 15 years, 2010 or 11, we helped her to get a preschool in San Diego. So we had that. So then I thought why not working with her? You know, opening another preschool in Orange County.

Let me just pause. Just so I can give you all background. My sister has her degrees in child development psychology, her master's and has had opened and run numerous preschools in all of her career over 15 years. And you guys opened up a preschool together, like you said, in San Diego, while you were still working. Just like you guys had invested in it and she was running it. But when you say this, like that school wasn't doing, like it wasn't bringing in a ton of money, right? No, you guys were losing money. So what would make you think like I, you know, at the time you had some savings, but it's like you know, you also weren't in a financial situation where it was like I don't need to work. And so to think let me take the rest of our savings and buy another preschool. I mean, were you scared that what if I lose it?

Yes and no, I did have this belief on ourselves, myself, your dad and your sister. And I knew that if we have a preschool close to us, I'm going to be involved in. This is going to be involved and we are going to make it happen. And with the background that I have from, we came to US in uh 77, from 77 to 2013, I have gone ups and downs, you name it. You know, I have seen so many changes in my life. I have built and destroyed, just four times, going to Iran, coming back to US. So that somehow gave me this, uh, security. You know, you can make it, you have to make it happen. And when I start something, I never think of it's not gonna work because I always believe that if you set my, you can do. I remember your sister, it was eighth grade, and she came to me and said Mom, I can't do this. And I said don't you ever tell me you cannot, tell me I don't want to do this then I would extend. Because there is nothing that you can put in your mind and not be able to do it.

And ladies and gentlemen, now you know why I have this podcast? This is the mother I was raised with, the fire breather. No, but you really are like that. And I really do have a lot of my own success is attributed to that because I mean, you're extremely confident. You're very persistent and you're very much of a figure it out. Like it's not that you know, I believe in myself. I think you believe that like you'll figure a way. It may not, like you were saying, like a lot of ups and downs.

Maybe I should say I have a lot of belief on human. Honestly, I think a human has so much ability that there is nothing that we cannot figure it out unless we don't want to figure it out.

Amen sista.

Yeah, it's just, if you want to do something, you go and do it. It's going to be hard. You have to work hard and nothing comes easy, right? No pain, no gain. It's so true, honestly, but it's well worth it.

So then you guys decide that you want to buy a school or preschool, but then what happened after that? Cause you didn't actually buy a preschool.

Well, your assistant find this school in Orange County for autistic kids, severe autistic. If that this kids don't do well at school. So um she, uh, told me and I said are you sure? And she said yes. And then she said but the owner has to interview me in order to see if. So they met and the owner liked her and she told me Mom, you have to put offer. And uh I said look, just take me there and see it. And I came and I was impressed because this school is in the house.

When you say you had to put an offer, you had to put an offer on the house as well. Like the house and the business.

Yeah, house and business they, um, came together at that time because it was kind of daycare. We had to live in this house.

So you guys were have to not only buy a business, but you'd have to move and move into the house.

Exactly, 30 years move.

But before you get to the offer, like I mean, were you thinking like I don't know, most people might be like this is crazy. Cause it was a lot of money. I mean, it was a very.

A lot of people told me this is crazy.

Oh they did?

You don't know what you getting to it.


I look at the numbers and the numbers look good to me. On the other side, your sister looked at the school and she, you know, wanted to work with special needs kids. And I was ready to take the risk. I was just ready to take the risk. And then we had to get a loan and it was a big, you know, thing. And I didn't have job. Your dad has a real estate. And I said which bank is going to loan us? But thank God with, uh, you know, financial situation, I mean, but still it was a miracle.

Yeah, you were able to squeeze one out. Yeah.

Yeah, so we got the school on 2015 and we moved in. So now you're living in the house that every morning, 14 severe autistic non-verbal coming to your house and you hear a lot of noises and then I have to cook for everyone because previous owner, yeah.

Yeah, that was part of the deal.

She was a French lady that been in this business for 30 years. And she decided to have a homemade food for this because nutritions are very important for autistic kids. So I, from a VP of finance, I became a cook. Every morning, I had to go to the kitchen and start cooking from scratch for 16 people.

Yeah and I should know that my mom is a fantastic cook. So I think that it was like a fitting role. I mean, you love cooking and you're very good at it. So I think it, when you guys bought it, it became clear because you knew somebody who was going to have to cook. And it was like well, you'll do the cooking and the accounting. And then Hoonoosh will run it and run the schools and hire and all that stuff. But what has happened has been amazing because I mean now after COVID, you don't cook anymore for the kids um but you were cooking in the mornings and you were doing the books, but you were pretty much working part-time. I mean, you didn't have to really work full-time.

Yes because I personally don't deal with kids. It's your sister and other teachers. So I had this flexibility that get up early in the morning and making food and get it ready. And then after 10, 10:30, I'm free either um, I can come and sit in my office and do my accounting or go out and have fun with my grandkids and come back in evening time when the house is quiet, because during the day it’s not a quiet place.

Yeah, it’s a lot of noise.

So it's not easy to sit and work with numbers. Then I would go and have be with my grandkids and then come back after school. And since my office in my house, I would sit and do my accounting until 9 or 10:00 PM. No one is here to tell me what to do. You know? And I kept that since 2015, you know? And I'm a very sociable person. I love everything. I love gardening. I love going out. I love fashion. Everything. So I'm into everything.

Yeah, you have a lot of hobbies.

This position gave me that opportunity. And to be honest, after I lost my job, I have to say it took me a year or two to become alive because, you know, I thought that life is just get up, go to work, come back at 6, 6:30. Then it start cooking and socializing. But I I didn't know that hey, you can have fun middle of the day. You can go to Fashion Island lunch at middle of the day, or at three o’clock you can have a coffee time with your friend. Everything was so new to me. And I couldn't believe that this is happening.

I know it does, I'm glad that you raised that because I think people don't realize that it takes a really long time to decompress from like corporate America or just how you've been programmed to live. And so even really, I mean, you've always had a lot of hobbies and curiosities and interests, but I mean, even really letting yourself fully think like is it okay to just start gardening in the middle of the day on a weekday? Like is that allowed because I I should be working. Like we have so many thoughts about what you should be using your time for that it takes a while to be like it's allowed it's okay. You're allowed to rest.

Yeah, it's okay. It's the love to dig it up and go to shopping. It's okay you know, to take a nap, you know, if you're exhausted, you can lay down for 15 minutes.


So when you have this freedom and then you say oh my God, well…

What was I doing?

And because of that, as you remember, when you came, when you decided not to practice law.


I'm pretty sure you had so much anxiety how to bring it up to me and your dad.

Yeah. That's such a great thing to talk about because as you know, most people have listened now know like kind of the way that you are. Um and that you're very like figure it out, go getter type person or hard worker. And for most of my life, there was a lot of messaging of like work is not easy. Life is not easy. You just work hard. Like and I felt like a lot of people, I think, feel, you know, when I graduated law school and I was working at a big law firm, I was like 27 and I was making $160,000. Right. Which is more than you're making, I think at the time. And I was complaining and I felt, like I wouldn't complain to you, cause I honestly felt so guilty. Like this woman has gone through so much to come here and give us this life. And now I'm complaining about making this money. And I did complain a couple of times and I did hear the like work isn't supposed to be fun like get over it type stuff. So yeah. So when I wanted to quit, I had a lot of anxiety of like how is my mom going to take this? Because you know, I'd spent so much time getting the degree and doing, you know, getting to this position. And so when I did come and tell you, you had a very surprising, you know, react, I mean, it was, it worked in my favor that this transition to you happened before I quit, because you had such a change of heart about corporate America and all of, you know, this grind that we're so on that when I came to you and told you, you very were very supportive and you were very much like your kids are only going to be young once, enjoy it, like work for yourself, figure out another way, don't waste your life being unhappy.


Which was very good for me.

Yeah because, uh, you know, when you're tied up with a full-time job, very stressful job, you miss out a lot in life with your kids, especially with your kids, you know? And I remember there were school, uh, I try always to be there and any occasion at school, but I know that I miss some of them because I had a meeting that I couldn't change it. So these are all the things that you lose when you're working for someone. And I have to say, you know, I juggle 10 things at the same time but that's, you know, I cook here then I come here and sit and run my checks then I, well, I do plan to, uh, plan and then come back again. You know, I wouldn't change it with anything.

Well let's just talk about really quickly what has happened because you guys have now opened a second school, which is more of a ranch, which is what I was posting on my Instagram stories in the beginning. It's a ranch with animals for like animal therapy for the kids. Um it is still dedicated to severely autistic children who don't do well in the public school system. I mean, it really is what has kind of happened and what has created from this has been so amazing to watch. And I would always tell you, like you should write a thank you card to your old boss because you wouldn't have left there willingly.

No, I wouldn’t.

Which is just a great example of the fact, I know it's sometimes so frustrating when you're going through something to say like oh, it might be a blessing in disguise, but oftentimes things that are the hardest to go through really are the little like push that we need into a direction that's better for us.

And you know, I have to say this, that I always, and I used to talk to your sister a lot about this, that even though I'm happy with my job, but I always think that there is more to it and I should do something else. And maybe that's why I went and I got my tax preparation, notary, this and that. But because I was in that box, you know, you get your money, you get and then you have work to do. And at night you're so exhausted that you don't sit and think oh, let me open this or let me go and do this job. For me, it was a blessing that uh he let me go. He let me free. And then I trusted my, you know, instinct and I said okay, I'm going to take this stress. It's going to make it or no but as I said, I never thought it's not going to make it because I said no matter what, we have to make it. We have to make it. There's no if and buts. And then your sister always have big, big vision.

Love it.

She really have and she always, when we got here after a year, she changed the license because before it was a daycare, but because of her credential and background, she could change it and became a non-public school. Then she start Mom, in a year or two, um, I would like to have a ranch so we have animals because she's an animal lovers as well. And I can, because with one dog I'm telling, you know, these kids are loving it and she start, you know, looking for it. And she all oh I found this one and we went and we saw it and I fell in love. Again, we put off, I put my retirement money as a down payment. And for two years, that house sat empty because of rule and regulation in order to license.

Exactly. That's a good point in the sense that like, obviously it hasn't been, like you opened this in 2015 and everything has been rainbows and butterflies, right? Like that's, but that's not the situation ever ever with any business, with anything, right. It's like there's always failure, failure, failure, success, failure. Like there's, there's always downs. And it depends on how you look at it. And I think that you having such a positive outlook always on life has been such a blessing. And having that persistence of like okay, you know, this doesn't mean that it won't work. It's like what's the other way? What's the next way?

Yes, we bought the ranch 2018 and we started right away with the county to get licensed. And I told my husband I am not going to sell this property. I said okay, they're not giving us license for school. Let's open a daycare for autistic kids. We get kids that are from two or three years old until six years old because there is no such a daycare. Let's open a daycare but it took so long to get that license. Then your sister went another route again with board of education and finally got the license for the school.

It's a great testament to the fact that there's like, where there's a will, there's a way. And it's just figuring it out. You guys are such an inspiration to me and I'm sure to many others. And I have to say like I didn't say this but I was one of the people that thought you were crazy when you were doing it in 2015, you know, I didn't want you guys to put in all your savings into something that we didn't know if it was going to work. And clearly I was wrong.

Yeah, at that time I was taking care of your grandma that has Alzheimer. And there were a few people told me you're going to move with your mom, that she has Alzheimer's. And I said I have to, you know, I have to, and I will take care of her but I have to do this. And I did this and here we are.

Here we are. Well thank you for sharing your story with us. I think that it is very inspiring. If you have any final words for somebody who maybe is stuck in that career that doesn't leave them time to do anything else and feels really like hopeless.

It's not worth it. Life is too short to waste it. And if honestly, if you feel that you are trapped, you're not happy, when you come home, you're miserable. You can serve your kids or your husband the way that you want. Don't do it. And don't be scared. There are a lot of things in this country I have to say. When they said land of opportunity, truly if someone wants to work, there are a lot of things and everyone has a passion, everyone. I mean, if you think you don't because you don't have time to think about it, you are so wrapped up to your work that you think that you don't enjoy cooking, or you don't need to because you're exhausted. So yes, go for it. Don't be scared. And I'm pretty sure Goli can help you in any way.

Thanks Mom for the plug. Awesome. Well thank you so much, Mom. I love you. And I will talk to you soon.

You're welcome. Thank you for having me. And I hope whomever is listening, even 1%, if they change their life, I would be happy.

Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes, it'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at Lessons From a Quitter and on Twitter at QuitterPodcast, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.